Sunday, October 7, 2012

From Sports Car to Sport Sedan to Pickup Truck in Just 50 Years

Later this week we will acknowledge our vows to be man and wife "until death do us part," by celebrating our golden wedding anniversary. It is a short span, as lives go, especially for two people who had decided that single-hood was better than couple-hood. That is, we met when we both had decided that marriage wasn’t something we wanted or needed. Then mutual friends introduced us at a party, we started talking, and . . . well, we just never stopped. Including saying "I do," on a sunny morning in October.

When we met, I was convinced that the only kind of personal transportation one needed was a two-seater roadster with the top down and the wind in my face. That lasted a couple of years more, before a growing daughter and more realistic needs pushed us into a sedan with sporting pretensions. Now my garage holds a sports coupe, a 5-door squareback that is every bit as good in the mountains as any sports car of the ‘50s, a couple of tractors, a 4-wheel drive sport-utility vehicle and a pick-up truck. And instead of a Georgetown apartment, we live three-hours away from that neighborhood in a setting that can only be described as bucolic. And we are still talking. Not just speaking, but talking. More and more that seems to involve recollections, but there are still new ideas, and new experiences to talk about.

When we were married we agreed to a few rules that have guided us along the way. They are simple, and to our minds, common sense:

Always treat the one closest to you with the greatest care. Too many people, we observed, seem to treat strangers with more courtesy and love than those closest to them.

Never go to bed with a problem unresolved.

Don’t wait until you have constructed the perfect sentence or paragraph before saying what’s on your mind.

At the same time, be careful that the words you use are not hurtful. Ephemeral they may be, but words do not die once spoken. The clever riposte, the "zinger" that kills, does just that: kills love and respect.

Never part without a kiss and the words,  "I love you." You never know when it may be your last opportunity.
Those are the basic rules we try to live by every day. Love, the adhesive in our life together, is the strongest bond there is. It is not always easy, or convenient, or simple, but it is always worth everything.

Fifty is not a magic word. Love is.